Samsung Gear VR Release For Galaxy S6: One Thing iPhone Doesn’t Have

The Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy 6 Edge are about to get something the iPhone doesn’t have: a virtual reality headset called the Gear VR. Gizmag says the device will launch on May 8.

“The Galaxy S6-compatible version of the Gear VR will be available to order from Samsung’s and Best Buy’s respective websites starting on May 8. Best Buy is already taking pre-orders today. Samsung tells us that the headset will retail for US$199, but Best Buy appears to not have gotten that memo, as its pre-orders currently cost $250 a pop. Best Buy is also listing a May 14 delivery date, contrary to Samsung’s May 8 launch date.”

The first version of the Gear VR, released in December of 2014, was only available for the Galaxy Note 4 and has been described as a game-changing virtual reality device. Forbes was impressed with the virtual reality experience the original Gear VR offered.

“A lot of the demo material included with the Gear VR is shot from things like helicopters using special cameras. This footage is amazing in its own right, and while the resolution is visibly low, the lag-free immersive nature of the content is what sells it. A flyover New York is really remarkable, even at the modest resolution offered.”

Even though Galaxy Note 4 users were impressed with the Gear VR, many claimed that they could notice a “screen-door” effect that became annoying. This is because even though the Galaxy Note 4 has a Quad-HD screen, it’s not enough to stop eyes from viewing individual pixels since the screen is placed right in front of the face. The Gear VR for the Galaxy S6 has less of a screen door effect since the screen packs more pixels per inch than the Note 4. Wired has a preview of the new Gear VR for the Galaxy S6.

“The new wearable, which we first got wind of last month, is smaller, has newly designed face-straps, and has a built-in fan. Like its Note 4-compatible counterpart, the new Gear VR will essentially be a comfy facemask into which you slide the Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 Edge, then watch in stereo vision as your phone runs VR apps.”

The Gear VR is made by Oculus, the same company that makes the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. Even though the Rift is a lot more powerful than the Gear VR, it requires being tethered to a desktop computer, whereas the Gear VR requires nothing but a phone. Right now, Samsung describes the Gear VR as a “developer’s edition” for virtual reality developers and enthusiasts. The first full commercial version of the Gear VR is said to come out this fall with the release of the Samsung Galaxy Note 5.

[Photo Credit: Daryl Deino]